A Marriage Matter
July 15, 2010
Dave and I celebrated 14 years of marriage this past May. It’s been a great time, mostly. One issue that has never quite resolved perfectly is the tendency I have to take it personally when Dave is an a grumpy mood, or feeling blue, or whatever.
Yesterday, Dave came home from work. I had had a long day with the children, who seem to be trying to create a perfect balance of fun and bickering this summer. And, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been a little low recently. So I’m always happy when Dave gets home. Yesterday, though, he came in looking tired. And, instead of me sympathetically asking how his day was and acknowledging that he was worn out and weary, I immediately felt the fire of rage growing in my heart.
After a few moments of too-polite small talk, as I finished getting dinner on the table, I exploded: “I don’t know what your problem is today, but it’d be nice if you could just let me know what I did and why you’re mad at me instead of being all distant and aloof! It drives me crazy when you do this!!”
It’s an old, old habit for me to automatically jump to the conclusion that if someone is upset about something, they must be upset with me! As if I’m the only thing in their world, and the world revolves around me.
Sheesh. Must be fun to be married to me.
In my defense, the years of practicing conflict-resolution and the marriage counseling sessions we’ve sat through have greatly reduced the frequency of these events, as well as their duration when they do come up. For instance, yesterday it took me all of about 20 minutes for the angry fires to die down and the quiet understanding that Dave was weary for reasons other than me to enter in. And he’s good at forgiveness. And I’m pretty good at humbling myself.
This new Andrew Peterson song from his upcoming album Counting Stars sums it up nicely. “It was harder than we dreamed, but I believe, that’s what the promise is for.” Here’s the video.